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“We need to talk.”
The dreaded words. Jack cringed as he listened to her say them, realizing that their relationship was dying.
“You’re just,” Cecelia hesitated, fingering a blade of grass that grew beneath them. They were sitting on Jack’ back porch, beers in hand. “You’re just too reckless Jack.” She said, “I can’t do this anymore; I can’t be this girl, the one who’s sitting by the phone waiting for her boyfriend to call, but he never does, the girl who’s always disappointed. I don’t want to be that girl anymore, Jack; I think we should break up.”
There were the words. Jack grinned manically. “Is that what you want, Cecelia?” He said.
“Yes, that’s what I want.”
Jack stood up, taking a long swig of his beer, and feeling the buzz. He felt indignant, like he should be the one breaking up with her. He was going to say this, but at the last minute he chickened out instead saying, “Fine, it’s over then.”
Cecelia’s eyes filled with tears, as she stood up as well, her black mascara running down her cheek, “I just want you to know, I still love you,” She said, her words burning into Jack’ heart like a brandished tattoo. “Its just,” She fought back another wave of tears, “Its just I can’t wait for you Jack. I can’t wait for you to grow up.”
Jack didn’t know what to say to that. He opened his mouth, but no words came. He watched as Cecelia looked at him one last time, and then turned around walking out of the yard, walking out of his life. Jack’ heart was bleeding, and he dropped to the ground, her words echoing in his ears. He would fight, damn it, he would prove he was worth her time.
THREE YEARS LATER
The house was covered in roses; red roses, white roses, pink roses, every color roses imaginable. This however, was not comforting to Jack, who carried a simple bouquet of red tulips, along with a note, scrawled on a clean white card and addressed to Cecelia that statically placed in the bouquet.
Nervous, Jack looked around, watching as bridesmaids and family members milled around, putting the finishing touches on what was to be the wedding reception of a lifetime. Jack cringed, seeing a man dressed in a classy black suit, walking across the front yard. Maybe he was the One, maybe he was the groom. Jack felt the urge to punch him, but then though better of himself. That was the old Jack, the Jack that was addicted to drugs, smoking and girls, the Jack that couldn’t make a commitment.
Jack was different now; he had sobered up, got off the drugs, and even quit smoking. He hadn’t had a girlfriend for a few months now, deciding to save himself for the right person, the person who happened to be getting married today, although not to him. He hadn’t meant for things to happen this way, but that had, and Jack wasn’t turning back now.
Striding into the house, no one questioned him; they assumed he was a friend of the groom’s.
Walking through the house he knew so well, memories flooded him, memories of their old relationship.
Brushing them away, Jack bounded up the stairs, hearing the tittering of bridesmaids from an upstairs bedroom.
Nervous, he followed the voices, pausing at the door. He hadn’t rehearsed this part and now he felt stupid just standing there, standing there with a bouquet of daisies and a note, a note that could drastically change his life.
Before he could say anything, a bridesmaid suddenly opened the door, startled by his presence.
“What do you want?” She asked, “This room is for girls only.” Jack heard the laughed of the rest of the girls behind the door.
“Can you give these to Cecelia for me?” Jack asked, his voice hopeful.
The girl rolled her eyes, muttering under her breath, “More flowers,” as she took the bouquet from his hands and shut the door.
Knowing he had accomplished what he had set out to do, Jack left the house, leaving behind all the wedding preparations and chaos that surrounded Cecelia’s house.
There was no news that night. Jack paced back and forth through his hotel apartment, wondering if she had found the note, and if she had, would she find him, or had she already moved on, seeing Jack as part of her past, instead of her future?
The following night, Jack gave up. He started packing his bags, gathering up the overnight supplies he had packed, realizing with a pang in his chest that it had been a stupid idea in the first place, that Cecelia didn’t love him anymore.
And then there was a knock. A simple knock. Jack dropped his half-packed suitcase on the floor, spilling all his carefully folded clothes onto the floor.
Dashing towards the door, Jack took a deep breath and swung it open, seeing Cecelia standing in the hallway, her hands behind her back.
“Cecelia,” He breathe, his hands dropping to his side.
Cecelia laughed, unclasped her hands to reveal a bare left finger; her marriage was over. “You better have grown up,” She said, wagging his note at him, smiling. And then she kissed him.